ceres news digest vol.5 week 3; sept.15-19

 09/15/14   9/19/14     

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09/15/14 –  9/19/14





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On Monday, President Erdogan reiterated a call for theestablishment of a “buffer zone” on Turkey’s border againstthe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.Erdogan stated that Turkish armed forces are in the midst ofdrawing up plans for the buffer area. Erdogan first called fora “buffer zone” in 2011 at the beginning of the conflict in

Syria, urging NATO to aid in securing Turkey’s border .

Today’s Zaman Wall Street Journal 

Billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov was placed under housearrest on Tuesday on suspicions of money laundering. Thecharges against Evtushenkvov, the majority shareholder ofthe conglomerate Sistema, stem from his majorityownership of oil company Bashneft. Although governmentofficials have stated that the case is not political, othershave expressed concerns that the arrest is related to state

 business interests.

Bloomberg  New York Times 

President Poroshenko addressed the U.S. Congress onThursday requesting “lethal and non-lethal aid” from theU.S. to support the Ukrainian army’s efforts in EasternUkraine. While President Obama reiterated that the U.S.would not supply lethal aid, he did promise a $46 million

 package in non-lethal aid, such as armor and vehicles.


On Wednesday, the Georgian Parliament began to discussthe status of a bill that would delay the broader use of jurytrials by an additional two years. The bill stated that jurytrials would become available for all criminal cases punishable by prison beginning October 1, 2014. Now,officials have raised concerns about the necessaryinfrastructure and resources required for widespread use of jury trials. Georgia introduced jury trials in 2011 for casesof aggravated murder in several large cities.

Civil.ge RFE/RL 

An ethnic Armenian soldier was killed by enemy fire in Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday morning. Twenty-four-year-old Mher Hakobyan was fatally wounded on thefrontlines between Armenian and Azerbaijani fire in theregion. The shooting marks the first Armenian military losssince early August. An investigation has been opened into

the death.

Armenia Now Public Radio of Armenia 

Members of the Moldova Socialist Party were incensed at astatement made by Romanian Prime Minister Ponta arguingfor the reunification of Romania and Moldova by 2018. TheSocialists, a political opposition group, have urged thegovernment to make a formal complaint to the Romanianleadership. Ponta has since clarified, saying the statementreferred to Moldova’s recent signing of an AssociationAgreement with the EU, of which Romania is already amember.


Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davitoglu declared that“Turkey will continue to be near Azerbaijan in its fight untileach square meter of Azerbaijani lands is liberated.” Davitoglu recently took over the prime-minister’s officefrom now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who isattending the launching ceremony of the Southern GasCorridor in Baku.

Eurasia Review  APA.AZ 

Belarus signed an agreement with the Kurdistan RegionalGovernment (KRG) of Iraq that includes cooperation in thefields of industry, agriculture, education and tourism.Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei visited Erbil

and met with KRG senior officials.

Rudaw.Net MFA Belarus 

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On Tuesday, Ayatollah Khomeini announced that Iran hadrejected an American request for cooperation against ISIS.This announcement came after Iran was excluded from ameeting of 24 countries in Paris on Monday that was aimedat confronting the Islamic State. Senior Iranian officials,including President Rouhani and Iranian Foreign MinisterMohammad Zarif, have followed up on AyatollahKhomeini’s comments with increasing criticism of the US-

led coalition’s campaign against ISIS. 

The Guardian ABC News 

Construction has begun on a new gas pipeline, known asLine D, through Tajikistan. The pipeline will transport gasfrom Turkmenistan to China and will supplement anexisting pipeline that runs through Uzbekistan andKazakhstan. Line D is expected to come online in 2016 andwill transport 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year toChina, increasing Chinese imports of Central Asian gas to85 billion cubic meters per year.

Interfax  EurasiaNet 

On Monday, representatives of Turkmenistan and theEuropean Union met in Brussels for the sixth round of theirHuman Rights Dialogue. The European Union delegationreported that they discussed individual cases as well asgeneral concerns about conditions in detention, censorship,restrictions on civil society, and violations of the right tofreedom of religion. The next round of the dialogue willtake place in 2015 in Ashgabat.


Mongolian officials said on Monday that a tax dispute withthe mining and metals corporation Rio Tinto has beenresolved. Rio Tinto has been involved in the Oyu Tolgoicopper mine as part of a $6.5 billion project, which will produce more than 300,000 tons of copper concentrate peryear once finished. The dispute arose between Rio Tintoand the Mongolian government regarding an outstandingtax bill for $130 million.

Reuters  Sydney Morning Herald 

On Tuesday, British public relations firm Davidson RyanDore published undated photographs of Gulnara Karimovasurrounded by guards. The firm claimed that the photosshow Karimova in house arrest, under which she has beenheld for more than seven months for political reasons. The photos surfaced after Ms. Karimova was charged by theUzbekistani prosecutor-general last week for having ties toorganized crime.

This week, a court in Kyrgyzstan postponed the trial offormer President Bakiev’s son, after reopening the trial onSeptember 15. Maksim Bakiev is charged by the KyrgyzRepublic with serious financial misconduct and fraudthrough illegal banking operations during his father’s presidency. Maksim Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in 2010 andcurrently resides in London. Maksim Bakiev was previouslysentenced in absentia to 25 years in prison.

Tazabek   RFE/RL 

Guardian   New York Times 

Afghan journalist Palwasha Tokhi was killed on Tuesday,when she was stabbed by an unknown person outside herhome in Mazar-i-Sharif. She is now the seventh journalist tohave been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of 2014,making this the deadliest year for news media since the fall ofthe Taliban. Tokhi had been working for Bayan Radio inMazar-i-Sharif. An investigation into her death is currently


Huffington Post  New York Times 

Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on Friday withKazakhstan that outlines military-technical cooperation between the two countries. Under the agreement the“Movement of military goods from one party’s territory toanother party’s territory will be based on the extracts fromthe lists issued by the parties’ competent authorities,without taking respective decisions on the military productssupply and licensing,” the statement said. 

TengriNews.kz RIA Novosti 

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Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appointed EwaKopacz, Poland’s parliamentary speaker, as the country’snew prime minister on Monday. Before becoming parliamentary speaker, Kopacz had also served as healthminister and as a member of parliament from 2001 until2007. Kopacz will take over as prime minister afterDecember 1, when current Prime Minister Donald Tusk will become the new European Council president.

Global Post   Novinite 

Supreme Court Judge Daniela Švecová was elected as thenew head of the Slovak Supreme Court by the JudicialCouncil in second-round voting on Tuesday. Švecová defeated fellow Supreme Court Justice Daniel Hudák in theelection. The position has been vacant since June 22, whenŠtefan Harabin’s term ended. Harabin attempted to win re-

election but did not make it to the second round of voting.

Slovak Spectator   Aktuality.sk  

Romania and Bulgaria announced that they will begin a joint air policing drill this month. Codenamed Blue Bridge2014, the operation is intended to increase cooperation between the Romanian and Bulgarian air forces andimprove their readiness to engage in joint operations. Themilitary exercise will occur in two phases, in September andOctober, and will focus on responding to hijacked orsuspicious aircraft threatening strategic facilities near the border between the two countries.

Radio.cz  Xinhuanet.com ITAR-TASS Baltic Course 

The Latvian government announced on Tuesday that itwould be selling its 75% share in Citadele Banka to anAmerican private equity firm. The ERBD will maintain its25% share in the bank. The sale will likely be completed atthe end of the month for a currently undisclosed sum.Citadele is the successor of Parex Bank, which was bailed

out by the Latvian government in 2008.

Bloomberg  Reuters 

Deutsche Welle  ABC 

Official Vilnius declared that Russia has detained a fishingvessel that belongs to Lithuania. Vilnius says that thedetention took place while the vessel was operating ininternational waters; however Moscow held the vessel basedon the alleged claim that it entered Russia’s territorial waters.The vessel had 28 people on board, the nationalities of whomremain unknown.

Delfi.lt  RFE/RL 

Despite the latest developments in Ukraine, Tallinn thinksthere are no signs that will prevent the enforcement of thelong-awaited border treaty between Estonia and Russia. Thetreaty that was signed earlier this year is expected to beratified by Russian and Estonian Parliaments. “There has been not a single signal from the Russian side that the process may be suspended,”- said Urmas Paet, ForeignMinister of Estonia on Wednesday. 

The Czech Red Cross, in cooperation with the Ministry ofForeign Affairs of the Czech Republic, is providing medicalaid for Ukraine. This accounts for the 7th delivery of thehumanitarian aid from the Czech Republic to Ukraine.Earlier this week, the Czech Government authorized 50million Czech crowns to be given to Ukraine for projects thataim to tackle health issues and educational and socialfacilities across the Ukraine. 

The United States is concerned with the recent developmentsconcerning NGO raids in Hungary. Kate Byrnes, Deputy USrepresentative to the OSCE in Vienna made a statement thatthe measures taken by the Hungarian Governmentrepresent “the accelerating intimidation of civil society inHungary.” 

Politics.hu  EuroNews

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Tsvetan Vassilev, the majority shareholder in Bulgaria’sCorporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), surrendered toSerbian police on Wednesday. Bulgarian courts have 40days to decide whether to extradite Vassilev to Bulgaria,where he is wanted on charges of embezzlement. Thecharges against Vassilev come in the wake of a run onCorpbank in June that forced the Bulgarian Central Bank to

take over and shut down Corpbank.

Reuters  Sofia Globe 

Fifteen people were detained by authorities in Kosovo onWednesday as part of a raid intended to combat therecruitment of ISIS fighters in Kosovo. Several imams wereamong those detained, including Shefqet Krasniqi, the headof Pristina’s Grand Mosque and one of the leading clerics inKosovo. This follows a similar operation that took place lastmonth and resulted in the arrest of 40 people.

BBC  Reuters 

The head of Gazprom’s International Projects Department,Alexander Siromyatin, was quoted this week as saying thatthe construction of the Serbian stretch of the South Stream pipeline will start as planned in October. Siromyatinemphasized that the Serbian construction work will beunaffected by the situation in Bulgaria, where South Streamconstruction was indefinitely suspended until the projectfulfills EU Re ulations.


Croatian analysts predict that the country may take aninternational bailout to help reform the Croatian economy.Since 2000, lawmakers have shunned market reforms andincreased spending. Croatian officials still shy away from theidea of outside aid, but analysts have increasingly called forEU and IMF aid if Croatia begins to roll back publicspending. The Croatian economy is predicted to grow only .7

 percent for 2015.

Dalje  Reuters 

Albanian officials have contacted Interpol with concernsabout a possible attack on Pope Francis during his visit thisweekend. Officials point to the danger posed by militantsrecently returned from Syria. The Vatican has issued astatement, declaring that there is no cause for alarm and thatthe Pope will not take extra security precautions for his tripto Albania. 

2 people are confirmed dead amid severe flooding innortheast Slovenia and the wider Balkan region. A 30 yearold man and 17 year old girl were overtaken by floodwaterin a van. The flooding comes as the Krka and Sava riversoverflow due to torrential rainfall. Neighboring Croatia hasalso suffered under the flooding, with about 2,000 peopleevacuating the central town of Karlovac.

ABC News  Yahoo 

ABC News Huffington Post  Apa.az Rtch.me 

Focus B92 

The Republic of Ilirida, an ethnically Albanian region inMacedonia, was declared on Thursday by the AlbanianParty for Democratic Action in Macedonia. Party leader Nevzat Halili has asked President Gruevski to begin proceedings for the federalization of Macedonia,

threatening a referendum if Gruevski does not.

Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic met with president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev in Baku. Aliev andDjukanovi expressed their readiness for further developmentof bilateral relations between the two countries in the fieldsof energy, infrastructure and education. In Baku, Djukanovicwill attend the launch of the Southern Gas Corridor that willconnect Montenegro and Western Balkans to the Caspian


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Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller met with the president ofRepublika Srspka, the Serbian political entity within Bozniaand Herzegovina, to discuss energy cooperation and theSouth Stream project. Republika Srspka signed an agreementto provide gas directly to the Serb entity, bypassing theBosnian state-owned importer BH-Gas. The deal is slated to begin in the summer of 2015 and last until the completion ofSouth Stream construction. 

Oil and Gas Eurasia  Interfax Energy